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Should I review past lessons or keep moving forward with my tree.

I am about half way done with my Spanish tree and I was just wondering whether or not I should continue moving forward with the tree or review path lessons, or both.

I am basically wondering if I were to continue moving on with the tree and did not review any past lessons would I ...

  1. lose almost all of my knowledge from past lessons and only retain the vocab that I worked on near the end of the tree

  2. retain the vocab from early lessons because the vocab I am working on towards the end of the tree is just a more complex version of the earlier lessons

If you have had any experience with this I would love to hear your story so I can get the best out of Duolingo.

October 21, 2017



If the tree stops being gold it does not necessarily mean you are losing the knowledge. I think, especially in later stages of trees, that the algorythm—not your human memory—for calculating when one should review, becomes more weighted towards reviewing, when it may not help learning as much.

I would do both. Do some review and keep moving forward. Even doing the new parts will give you some exposure to older vocab. Furthermore, there are different translation ratios in the study and learn new skills section. Keep this in mind. Simply going forward will mean you will transfering more spanish to english. Doing study will mean you will translate more english from Spanish. Both are important parts to learning, so I say do both. Sitting and reviewing your tree will leave you stuck on vocab, and just going forward is not intelligent to retaining. It is a balance, and that is how I look at it.


I wish I knew. Currently all the time I had set aside for French is taken up with reviewing, keeping my tree golden, and I haven't done anything new for ages. On the other hand, the practice lessons do introduce new matter, so I am progressing. Today I am having a blitz on the tree to get skills all golden again as I wasn't keeping up. But the reasons I wasn't keeping up are all valid, and I have learned during this time.

Obviously, the more skills one has the more one has to revise in order to keep them 'alive'. It would be so good if the practice lessons would deliberately be planned to re-inforce several skills at a time. A few in French re-inforce more than one skill.

Would love someone to reply who knows the science of this method of learning as applied to DL. Well done for asking the question that I have often thought about!


And..boom, boom! 120 XP later...all done so far is golden plus new skill learned. Let's see what tomorrow brings!


I would set a goal of learning one new topic a week and generally reviewing everything else, but I also preferred to have the tree finished so I could then focus on only reviewing


As a general rule, I review whenever my skills weaken. Otherwise I push forward. I try to keep my try all-gold whenever possible. I find that doing this tends to give me just about all the review I need (when combined with my use of a flashcard program offsite - I guess you could use tinycards for that, though).


Here's some stuff you might want to know:

If you are doing a tree and you keep moving onward, the lessons will have words from previous skills, so your old skills would still be maintained. I'd advise you to go back and strengthen weak skills from time to time, but usually keep moving forward. New skills have vocab and words from older ones. So you should continue doing new skills everyday but take a few minutes to strengthen weak skills.


I target 5 units per day, at least 1 new every day, plus strengthen whatever has weakened. In practice, some days that is 4 new units. Until I am done the tree, I do not do general strengthens nor timed practices, only strengthening the skills that have weakened. I only start those after a tree is done. Most of the time, that keeps the whole tree gold at the end of each session, while at the same time giving me a sense of forward progression.

Still not sure what to make of timed practice. In theory it should help instant recall, but at least half of my difficulty is typing out longer phrases.


Both. It depends on a lot of factors not least of which is how much time can you spend or want to spend on Duo.

I would suggest you do one strengthening and one element of a new skill each day. But do not do the general strengthening chosen with the big "Strengthen skills" button. What I do is scroll down the tree until I find the first skill that is not gold anymore. This is the skill I strengthen by choosing it and selecting the "Strengthen" button when it opens. The spaced repetition nature of Duo means that by doing this you not only build a stronger basic understanding, but you also make this skill less likely to show up again too soon.

I then go to the skill I'm working on. I open it and choose the next element in the skill. Only one element. In this manner I am working on a skill for approx. 5 days (depending on how many elements are within the skill). This means that in approx. 5 days I have practised one new skill and have strengthened five (unless the skills being strengthened had wasted so much that they required a couple of days work to be golden again).

When I have more time to spend I tend to strengthen past skills but occasionally I will work a little more on the new skills.

Lastly, I don't overly concentrate on having everything gold. I focus on learning the language I've chosen to study. It is my opinion that by learning the language well eventually the tree will be gold.

Best of luck with your journey.

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